Film Picks: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Satan's Slaves, and more

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriPHOTO: 20TH CENTURY FOX
Satan's Slaves
Satan's SlavesPHOTO: MM2 ENTERTAINMENT
Hang Tuah
Hang TuahPHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION
In The Most Beautiful
In The Most BeautifulPHOTO: FILMS SANS FRONTIERS

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (NC16)

117 minutes/ 5 stars

British-Irish screenwriter and director Martin McDonagh likes that area where religion, murder, stupidity and silly jokes come out to play. But his new movie is his most grounded and irony-free yet, featuring a family that suffers real heartbreak. Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), enraged that the rape-murder of her daughter remains unsolved after several months, pays for billboards that announce the incompetency of her small town's police force. Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) is annoyed, but does nothing, while his deputy, Dixon (Sam Rockwell), decides to take action.


SATAN’S SLAVES (PG13)

105 minutes/ 3.5 stars

In this retro-wonderful remake of a 1980 Indonesian classic Satan’s Slave, film-maker Joko Anwar sticks not just to the melodramatics of the original movie, but also its form.

Rini (Tara Basro) is a young woman who looks after her mother (Ayu Laksmi), a former singing star who is bedridden and dying, as well as younger brothers and a grandmother. Her father goes away, leaving her in charge of the family, who live in a large house on the edge of a cemetery. Anwar avoids computer graphics monsters, cute teen lead actors, drawn-out chase and action scenes and ill-fitting comedic bits. His shoestring budget is one reason, but there is also his respect and love of the 1980s’ Indonesian B-movie.


STATE OF MOTION 2018: SEJARAH-KU

The Asian Film Archive’s (AFA) film and visual arts series this year will showcase 10 Malay films, produced mainly by the Shaw Malay Film Productions. According to the AFA, the films were “produced at a time of great change with the Malay community grappling with modernity, nationalism and the imagining of a new society”.

Screening next week is Hang Tuah (1956, 120 minutes), a portrayal of the fabled warrior starring screen legend P. Ramlee (with Sa’adiah). It is among the few Malay-language films of that period filmed in colour.

WHERE: Various halls, Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate MRT: Bugis WHEN: Till Feb 8, various times ADMISSION: Free with registration INFO: For registration and schedule, go to stateofmotion.sg/2018/films


WITNESS TO WAR: MEMORIES AND SCREENS

The National Museum of Singapore will screen 14 films as part of the exhibition, Witness To War: Remembering 1942. Programmed by the Asian Film Archive, the films will cover various genres and trace events from the bombing of Pearl Harbour to the atomic explosion in Hiroshima.

In The Most Beautiful (1944, PG), legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa shows what life is like on the home front, when women are mobilised for the war effort.

WHERE: Gallery Theatre and Theatre Foyer, Basement Level, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road MRT: Dhoby Ghaut WHEN: Till Jan 28, various timings ADMISSION: Free with registration INFO: Go to bit.ly/WitnesstoWarFilmScreenings for schedules and registration

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2018, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe